Lesson Plan and Activity Finder

Find FREE science- and standards-based classroom lessons and multimedia activities on teens and drugs – all funded or created by NIDA.
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Prescription Stimulants

Prescription Stimulants

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn why misusing prescription stimulants, such as those prescribed to treat ADHD, is dangerous. A student article explains how stimulants work and what it means to abuse them. Students can make posters with factual information about prescription stimulants and stimulant abuse.

Grade: 6-12

Questions About Drugs—Answers From Scientists

Questions About Drugs—Answers From Scientists

May 2016

This article and lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, explores some of students’ common questions about drugs and health and answers from scientists at NIDA. Activities encourage students to synthesize the information they have learned about drugs and think about the dangers of different types of common drugs.

Grade: 6-12

Reconstructors

Reconstructors

October 2015

Teens travel into the future and reconstruct the science of substance abuse through interactive learning adventures. As part of the adventure, players help solve cases centered on inhalants, ecstasy, or opioids by gathering data, conducting laboratory experiments, and consulting with experts to solve the case.

Grade: 6-8

Recovery from Drug Addiction: Teacher's Guide

Recovery from Drug Addiction

July 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students gain a scientific understanding of drug addiction as a chronic brain disease. A student article discusses some of the reasons why one person may become addicted to a drug and another may not, as well as some of the challenges of addiction recovery. A work sheet provides an opportunity for students to analyze a chart of research-based risk factors and protective factors for drug addiction.

Grade: 6-12

Respect Others. Respect Yourself.

Respect Others. Respect Yourself.

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn how to recognize and build healthy relationships and communication skills through discussion questions, group activities, and work sheets. Teachers can also discuss dating violence and drug use and resources for teens in unsafe or unhealthy relationships to get help.

Grade: 6-12

Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP)

Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP)

June 2017

This program, designed for use in the science classroom, uses the aquatic flatworm (planarian) to teach students how drugs work in the brain to produce addiction. In these lessons, students have the opportunity to conduct experiments designed to help them discover the impact of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol on the functioning of neurons and the brain. 

Grade: 6-12

Science Education Enhances Knowledge (SEEK) About Tobacco

October 2015

Students participate in missions and problem solve to learn the science behind nicotine addiction, the contributions by various kinds of tobacco products to the development of cancer, and the role of marketing in tobacco product use. A virtual lab activity challenges students to determine whether compounds in tobacco can cause DNA mutations in a strain of bacteria (Serratia marcescens).

Grade: 9-12

Addiction Science Award

Science Fair: Award for Addiction Science

June 2018

Students gain practical experience conducting research-based investigations on the topic of addiction science. Three exemplary projects receive the Addiction Science Award, coordinated by the Friends of NIDA (a coalition that supports NIDA's mission) during the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The ISEF is the world's largest science competition for high school students.

Grade: 9-12

Addiction: Genetics & The Brain

Science of Addiction: Genetics & the Brain

October 2015

Multiple interactive games give teens the opportunity to explore how the brain works, the effects of drugs on the brain, the role of genetic susceptibility in addiction, and more.

Grade: 6-12

Smoking and How it Changes the Brain

Smoking and How it Changes the Brain

June 2017

This web-based interactive 3D virtual experience helps students learn how smoking cigarettes changes the brain. Students will travel into the avatar’s brain where they will interact with nicotine molecules and learn how smoking changes receptors that provide pleasurable feelings. They will learn about the reward pathway and how cigarettes impact it.

Grade: 9-12

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